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Old 02-29-2016, 04:33 PM   #1
Conan46
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Text-To-Speech Fans

Curious how many people here frequently use text-to-speech. It was rather horrible years ago, but I find it quite usable now. I enjoy audiobooks, but sometimes they just are not available for the books I want to read, so I often turn to text-to-speech. I mostly use Google Books version, but have used Amazon, Moon+, and Fbreader for audio.
Anyone else frequently use TTS?
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:33 PM   #2
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Me! I use Ivona's Kendra with an Android device with headphones, but if no one is in the house and I'm in one spot I'll use the Echo.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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I use it Esp with my Willow Rose Books! Don't Read or speak Dutch!
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:26 PM   #4
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I use TTS everyday on a Samsung Galaxy Note3. I have quite a few purchased voices but always seem to gravitate back to Ivona Amy (British English). I listen via bluetooth headphones whilst out walking or in a noisy environment, but in the house when no-one else is in the room I prefer the external speaker on my Samsung.

My preferred apps for TTS are Pocketbook, Mantano, FBReader and @Voice Aloud Reader (good for both epubs and web articles).

I love that, at a moment's notice, I can listen to any ebook I like and have no intention of ever buying 'real' audiobooks - although I do appreciate that trained voice actors can bring a book to life better than TTS.

It's amazing how fast you can progress through your book when you're able to listen to extra 10-15min sessions here and there during daily mindless activities where your eyes/hands aren't available for reading.

Long reading sessions are still done on my Kobo eink devices though. I think an Android eink device with TTS capability would be my 'perfect reading device' but I'm not convinced that those currently on offer are quite 'there' yet.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copyrite View Post
Me! I use Ivona's Kendra with an Android device with headphones, but if no one is in the house and I'm in one spot I'll use the Echo.
Ivona is awesome. I like it better than Google Books/Android default TTS. And even though I'm American, I prefer the UK Amy voice.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:16 PM   #6
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It's amazing how fast you can progress through your book when you're able to listen to extra 10-15min sessions here and there during daily mindless activities where your eyes/hands aren't available for reading.
I also enjoy how well I progress through a book using TTS.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:28 PM   #7
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I've only tried the US voices, and once upon a time tried the US male voice but it didn't sound as good as Kendra did to my ears. I use Moon+ and I like the fact the TTS controls (I don't know if they are Android controls on Moon+ controls?) let me change the pitch of the voice... so she's more like a contralto. I'd take the Echo's voice on my devices in a heartbeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post

Long reading sessions are still done on my Kobo eink devices though. I think an Android eink device with TTS capability would be my 'perfect reading device' but I'm not convinced that those currently on offer are quite 'there' yet.
A good eInk with TTS capability would get me to give up my Kindle.

The TTS has improved leaps and bounds since I listened on the Kindle Keyboard. The reason I first researched Alf was because of an Amazon book where TTS wasn't enabled.

Last edited by copyrite; 02-29-2016 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:56 PM   #8
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I've only tried the US voices, and once upon a time tried the US male voice but it didn't sound as good as Kendra did to my ears. I use Moon+ and I like the fact the TTS controls (I don't know if they are Android controls on Moon+ controls?) let me change the pitch of the voice... so she's more like a contralto. I'd take the Echo's voice on my devices in a heartbeat.
Moon+ is very good. I like the ability to set the snooze timer for 60 minutes as I occasionally fall asleep listening.
UK Amy pronounces the words very well. I like it a bit better than Kendra, but it comes down to what sounds best to each of us. I've never warmed up to any male TTS voices, which is strange as I enjoy listening to audiobooks read by males.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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I use my Mac's built-in TTS (and very occasionally I try the voice recognition) with foreign language texts. It's got support for a lot of languages with different regional accents, and you can change the speed at which they speak, so it's useful for learning practice when native speaker materials like subtitled films are going too fast for one's understanding.

I don't really use the English voices, though. I'm not much of an audiobook person, probably because I read a lot faster than I can listen, and I usually prefer to get through my reading sooner than that takes.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:35 AM   #10
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Another vote for Ivona UK Amy. The most natural sounding, intelligible, and pleasing TTS I've heard.

I think Amazon owns Ivona now. If they add it to their eink kindle, I'll pay voyage price for it.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:10 AM   #11
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I use TextAloud 3 on my windows based Archos 9 tablet occasionaly, when I am tired of reading on my Kobo. It comes with good AT&T Natural Voices which converts the text from documents, webpages, PDF Files and more into natural-sounding speech.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:26 AM   #12
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TTS works pretty well on the iPhone and iPad and, because it's built into the o/s rather than the app, works with any app. It has lots of different voices available, and even turns the page automatically in reading apps.

To enable it, go to "Settings / General / Accessibility / Speech" and toggle "Speak Screen" on. To turn speech on, swipe down the screen with two fingers.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:46 AM   #13
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I too use Ivona, which is very good. My preferred choice is of course Nicole, the only one who speaks properly accented English! More seriously, text to speech is very good, I rarely listen to an audiobook. To me I am not looking for a dramatic performance, so TTS is more than acceptable.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:29 AM   #14
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To me I am not looking for a dramatic performance, so TTS is more than acceptable.
It was rather funny to me listening to the various inflections / voices and effort the reader put into an audiobook when I first started listening to them. I was very used to the very computerized rather disjointed voice of my Kindle Keyboard.

My daughter is a first year elementary school librarian and I'm amazed at the level of the TTS in the reference program the children use. When I was volunteering last week one of the girls asked if the page could be switched to Spanish (her primary language, although she speaks English rather well) and read to her. It worked! Later I watched her switch back to English put her headphones on and listen in English. This was a second grader!
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:04 AM   #15
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It was rather funny to me listening to the various inflections / voices and effort the reader put into an audiobook when I first started listening to them. I was very used to the very computerized rather disjointed voice of my Kindle Keyboard.

My daughter is a first year elementary school librarian and I'm amazed at the level of the TTS in the reference program the children use. When I was volunteering last week one of the girls asked if the page could be switched to Spanish (her primary language, although she speaks English rather well) and read to her. It worked! Later I watched her switch back to English put her headphones on and listen in English. This was a second grader!
When I first tried Ivona on my Android phone I was amazed how good it was compared to the previous time I had used TTS (some years ago). Still, I can't ever see TTS achieving the same types of inflections, voices etc as some of the readers of Audiobooks! Then again, I was reading an article not long ago about a non-existent Japanese pop-star who's fans produce music for concerts of her songs using some type of TTS program. So who knows what the future holds.
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